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October 15, 2008

I Plan to Change.

For the past five years, I have been a sucker for the Starbucks planner. As soon as the announcement for the new one comes out, I set off to the nearest café in order to get started on collecting my stickers for the much coveted planner. I even bully my friends and family to help me fill up my card at the soonest time possible.

None of these planners have changed my life though. In fact, I have to admit I barely used them, except for show-and-tell purposes.

This year, I came across a blogger’s invitation: to write a blog post about the “Journal that challenged the Starbucks planner”. Being a newbie blogger, an addicted one at that, I eagerly signed up. In return, they sent me the journal to review and critique. So, do I really think this planner is going to be different from all those planners I spent a fortune on?

Before I begin, I have to give credit to Free Speech Publications, the brainchild of the planner and this contest, for it’s boldness in asking 100 bloggers to give their two-cents worth on their product. Not just that, but that they welcome not only positive reviews about their project, but even the negative ones.

Right now I have to be honest and say I don’t know.

However, I do think that this journal is different in many ways. For one, the idea that it is not really just a planner but a journal that will actually change my life 2009 is appealing to me. It makes me see it not just as a date book or something to write my schedule in.

Here are other ways this journal compares to the Starbucks Planner. For the sake of reducing redundancies, I'll be referring to the Starbucks planner as "the planner" and the "journal" refers to Free Speech's item.


Cover: the planner, especially last years, is by far more attractive. At least for me. However, when my cousin saw it, she loved it. She liked the whole graffiti thingy in the cover, which in my opinion, was too loud. It also seems to make it more masculine, which makes it less attractive to me.
The planner's soft leather cover, and refillable rings not only make it pretty, but flexible as well. I got two of the planners, actually, and I used the other one as a sketch book after filling it up with blank sheets.

Paper: both the Planner and the Journal have good quality paper, which makes it great. I like the fact though that the planner has lined sheets, which works well for people like me who have trouble keeping their writing straight and even. Although the Journals blank spaces are great for doodling on and making little artsy fartsy stuff to commemorate the days.

Pages: I like the layout of the Journal better, in a sense that it had equally laid out spaces for the 7 days in the week. I hated the shared Saturday and Sunday spaces in the Planner. I couldn't even doodle my birthday well!!! I also liked the way you can view the month in the Journal. The dividers (the sheets between months) are also informative and interesting, definitely more than the Planners!

Quality: I was a bit frustrated with the Journal, because the binding was not done very well. The last stitched area, towards the end of the Journal, was too tight or something, as it rips the paper a little bit. Not too noticeable, but when you're OC, it can be slightly flustering! However, I like the way it opens flat, unlike the Planner of 2006 which I needed to push down to be able to write on. Also, being hardbound, it's great to throw in the bag without it getting squished around.

Size: The Journal is slightly shorter than all of the Planners, but slightly thicker than the brown 2006 planner which is most similar to the Journal. Nevertheless, it is a good size.


Content:
I definitely love the content of the Journal! While the drawings and graphics of the Planner were cute, they were often useless to me. The Journal, on the other hand, has a lot of info that are very useful. And indeed, as I read them, I am encouraged to change. The little bits of wisdom are also enlightening. And they make me smile. With the Planner it seems to me that it was always so product-oriented, thus all I end up with is useless information.

Cost: This is definitely where the Journal wins. For Php 850.00, its a good buy. On the other hand, the Planner would cost about Php 2500.00 give or take, depending on the drink you get. Nevertheless, you get a drink anyways hehe (rationalizing much???)

Cause. If I'm not mistaken, Starbucks has the Spark Hope project with Unicef. However, the way I understand it, only a portion of the proceeds go to the project. What the Journal has over the Planner is that ALL PROCEEDS go towards the building of wells and schools, as well as planting trees around the world. ALL PROCEEDS! For that alone, if I had not gotten the Journal for free and could actually spare the cash, I'd get another one. Then again maybe I should not get in that sticker line...hmmm...there we go, the Journal seems to be changing my life already!

Overall, I can't really, honestly decide which is a better planner. I still think I will foolishly line up in Starbucks everytime double sticker hour comes along. But when it comes to doing what it says it can do, I think the Journal really can change a life.

So...are you ready to change? Leave a comment when you come by please and give me your opinions. Then check out the FreeSpeech Publications website or head to Powerbooks/Fully Booked to get your own Journals and change your life in 2009!

Oh, and do come back in a day or two to see more pics of the Journal and see what others have to say about it as well!

10 stars twinkling:

cigarette-girl 10/17/2008 02:07:00 PM  

i still prefer starbucks hehe

Anonymous,  10/17/2008 03:37:00 PM  

I wanna see more pictures of the Journal first before I choose which one I'd prefer. Pero sa cost - panalo talaga ang Journal over the starbucks planner.

Anonymous,  10/17/2008 03:37:00 PM  

I wanna see more pictures of the Journal first before I choose which one I'd prefer. Pero sa cost - panalo talaga ang Journal over the starbucks planner.

MerryCherry, MD 10/17/2008 04:47:00 PM  

Journal? I need a planner, not a journal so I'd probably buy na lang from NB. Hahaha :) Although I have SB planner. Feeling ko sayang sa papel :)

cescadear,  10/17/2008 08:21:00 PM  

i am presently using the starbucks planner from last year...but im willing to take a look at the 'journal' and maybe consider using it for the coming year. but i would still probably check out the design of the 2009 planner of starbucks ;)

Ria 10/17/2008 10:11:00 PM  

*cigarette-girl: i sorta agree hehe. i like the inside of the journal but the look and feel of the planner.

*anonymous: so true. cost is definitely the winning factor of the journal. plus where the proceeds go make it worth spending 850 for!

*cesca: yup yup, looking forward to what the 2009 planner looks like...then i may end up with two planners i dont use haha

tweacher,  10/19/2008 11:43:00 AM  

i like your new planner :) i like the paper that they used. hehe! the monthly planner makes it better than starbucks'. and i like what it says on the cover, "the journal that will change your life." wala lang, i just find it...catchy? nyar! i wish it's cheaper though hehehe!

angiebunjee,  10/19/2008 10:48:00 PM  

i have all those planners too and they're all dusting in the dumps of my jungle apartment. i dont need planners! i thrive in chaos

Ria 10/19/2008 11:18:00 PM  

*merry cherry:planner, journal...pareho lang di ko nagagamit hehe!

*anj: chaos is my middle name...i just like having stuff to gather dust around me too haha!

*teachoy: think of it as helping the world...spend money wisely!

biske,  11/17/2008 10:49:00 AM  

Sorry dear. Never been a fan of starbucks' or any other planner/journal. Now, I have the UP centennial planner (University Student Council's fund-raising) but I rarely use it. A simple & small one given away by banks during Christmas time is ok w/ me.

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